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Compare and contrast two poems that contain different representations of school pupils.

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Introduction

English Essay Compare and contrast two poems that contain different representations of school pupils. 'Comprehensive' is a representation of a comprehensive school, in the way that the diverse mixture of cultures are included in the poem. Each pupil has a different life and culture, and the pitfalls of comprehensive schools are clearly shown by the way in which each pupil is represented. The first pupil is African, and homesick, and is not happy in England. It seems as though she misses her culture, and feels as though she is being stifled by the British culture. This is also true of 'In Which The Ancient History I learn Is Not My Own.' The boy represented in this poem is homesick, and also feels stifled by the British culture, due to the fact that he is being almost forced into it, thus not allowing him to enjoy his own Irish culture. The teacher wants him to learn 'The English Kings, the famous battles and God's grace in History' which causes him to begin to forget his own History, which he is desperately trying to hold on to. ...read more.

Middle

The Teacher is very patriotic, and expects the pupil of a completely different culture to be the same about England. An example of this is when the teacher describes the Roman Empire as 'the greatest Empire ever known- until our time of course.' This is the kind of attitude that is almost stripping the boy of his patriotism of his own land, and restricting him from learn about his own History. He has had to take on another cultures history and been forced to take it on as his own. Similarities can be made between the young Irish boy and 'Ejaz' and 'Masjid' from 'Comprehensive.' They too are forced to conform to the British culture. 'Majid at 6'oclock. School at 8.' Begins his first line, the pupil has been given no exceptions or allowances for his own customs, one of which being his time of worship in the morning. He is expected to find his own way of fitting it in, and if he can't, then it's his problem; the school will not help him, but hinder him. ...read more.

Conclusion

In many cases it is the way that they have been brought up, and in some it is due to the social groups the form at school, the need to stay with their friends causes many to drop out of school as groups, in 'Michelle's case it seems as though her mother doesn't push her, and in fact holds her back by not allowing her to do anything. The boy in the final stanza of 'Comprehensive holds the most optimistic view, in the way that he doesn't fit in with, or conform to the British culture, but still holds optimism. They have stayed true to their culture and know their own History and aren't allowing themselves to be stifled. So we see in both poems the diverse range of cultures, and the diverse range of views held by the pupils. Some ridicule others, some are not accepted, and some don't want to conform but are forced to. Causing, as is represented by both poems, for the most part and adverse effect to their attitudes and values. ...read more.

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